The First Day
On the first day, I should want to see the people whose kindness and gentleness and companionship have made my life worth living. First I should like to gaze long upon the face of
my dear teacher, Mrs. Anne Sullivan Macy, who came to me when I was a child and opened the outer world to me. I should want not merely to see the outline of her face, so that I
could cherish it in my memory, but to study that face and find in it the living evidence of the sympathetic tenderness and patience with which she accomplished the difficult task
of my education. I should like to see in her eyes that strength of character which has enabled her to stand firm in the face of difficulties, and that compassion for all humanity
which she has revealed to me so often.
I do not know what it is to see into the heart of a friend through that "Window of the soul", the eye. I can only "see" through my finger tips the outline of a face. I can detect
laughter, sorrow, and many other obvious emotions. I know my friends from the feel of their faces. But I cannot really picture their personalities by touch. I know their
personalities, of course, through other means, through the thoughts they express to me, through whatever of their actions are revealed to me. But I am denied that deeper
understanding of them which I am sure would come through sight of them, through watching their reactions to various expressed thoughts and circumstances, through noting the
immediate and fleeting reactions of their eyes and countenance.
Friends who are near to me I know well, because through the months and years they reveal themselves to me in all their phases; but of casual friends I have only an incomplete
impression, an impression gained from a handclasp, from spoken words which I take from their lips with my finger tips, or which they tap into the palm of my hand.
How much easier, how much more satisfying it is for you who can see to grasp quickly the essential qualities of another person by watching the subtleties of expression, the quiver
of a muscle, the flutter of a hand. But does it ever occur to you to use your sight to see into the inner nature of a friends or acquaintance/ Do not most of you seeing people
grasp casually the outward features of a face and let it go at that?
For instance can you describe accurately the faces of five good friends? some of you can, but many cannot. As an experiment, I have questioned husbands of long standing about the
color of their wives' eyes, and often they express embarrassed confusion and admit that they do not know. And, incidentally, it is a chronic complaint of wives that their husbands
do not notice new dresses, new hats, and changes in household arrangements.